At about 5:30 this morning, my Treo buzzed me awake with a message from my friend and future roommate. Elvis had decided against taking our planned trip to the Kentucky Derby Infield with the rest of our business school friends and wanted to know if that would affect my plans?

Elvis Taught Me Work Life

Not being the biggest fan of mud-filled fields of loud, drunken horseracing fans myself; I was inclined to agree with her course of action. The problem was that after weeks of intense work culminating in exams, I was counting on this trip to get me out of Nashville for the day.

After a couple of text exchanges, we agreed that a road trip of some magnitude was in order. Our destination, we decided, was Memphis. Only about 200 miles away, we could hit up Graceland, the Mississippi River and some of the best barbeque in the south – all while fulfilling the need to get us the heck out of here.

I have to say the trip was incredible from a lot of different angles. For instance, you know how they say, “getting there is half the fun?” Well, in this case, the fun was discovering strange quirks about my future roommate. These quirks would include her affinity for singing along to Taylor Swift and her eerie ability to detect Wal-Mart stores from just about any distance. Seriously, it was creepy.

At the end of the day though, I was kind of left feeling that the trip had lacked somehow? We had a blast, we talked, we dove into some great ribs on Beale Street and yet I am still not feeling that the trip did the trick. Somehow, I needed more.

Elvis

Business school, it turns out, essentially takes a lot more than hard work. It takes an almost maniacal identification with your chosen course of study. Simply stated; I didn’t have any work to do so even the most awesome road trip I have taken in years failed to validate me.

Conclusion

This is a problem that I think all of us have from time to time and though it’s not something to call a shrink over (yet), it’s still important to bring it to light. Honestly, as soon as I realized the problem, I was able to adjust my frame of reference. Instead of thinking of all the things I didn’t have to do – I looked for things OTHER than work that I could busy myself with this evening; writing my thoughts down on this blog being one of them.

The point is that just like “The King” and his life. You can’t let a job like getting drafted into the Army keep you from enjoying yourself. As I think back on today and the immense fun I had strolling the grounds of Graceland, I really am thankful for the ability to soak it all in. It turns out – that’s the only important thing; that I did it, enjoyed myself. Get to take those experiences back with me whenever I do decide to get back to work. For now, I get to keep them to myself, and anyone that wants to see the photos.

That story being told; how do you approach this issue? How do you approach a problem like this of work-life balance?

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